Defending Our Faith
“Look Daddy, I can tie my shoes all by myself.” I’ve heard that at least six times as each of my children mastered the life altering skill of tying their shoes. I remember using different methods to help them accomplish this feat: “The rabbit goes around the tree, through the hole…” Though my kids caught on fairly easily, it still took a concerted effort by me and my wife to prepare them for this important life transition. Maybe you think tying shoes is not really that big of a life transition, but it does mark a significant step toward independence. The reality is we spend a great deal of time with our children helping them be prepared for these “passages” of life. We want our kids to be able to take care of themselves, get a good job, make a significant contribution to society, know Christ as their personal Savior, and use their gifts to bear fruit for the Kingdom of God.
I just read the alarming results of a national study that shoes that as Christian parents, we may not have fully done our job very well. While tying shoes is important, how prepared are our children to stand up for what they believe? Can our children defend their faith during high school and college before peers and professors who may be antagonistic toward Christianity, or worse, hostile toward Christians? A study completed in 2007 showed that in 712 colleges and universities across our country, there is a significant bias against Christian students by college professors. Through this study, it was determined that 53% of college professors admitted to having negative or unfavorable feelings toward evangelical Christians. Another alarming discovery from this study is that American college faculty members want Muslims to play a greater role in the American political process while wanting evangelicals to stay out of it.
It seems that some college professors have an immediate bias against Christian students and seek to convince students that faith in Christ or belief in the Bible is a crutch or a hoax. The bottom line is that we need to not only be ready to defend our faith in a growing secular society, but we MUST prepare our children to do so as well.
Tying shoes, potty training, and balancing a check book are important life lessons, but in the grand scheme of things, teaching our children to defend their faith is critical as well. What ideas do you have on how to help our children grow in this area? Can you share some thoughts with your responses?
Tim, those college professors are stuck in their own little worlds. This whole study to me is idiotic. I know you had great examples as parents when you were growing up. To me this study should have been on all parents regardless of religion. I am quite sure that parents of non Christians have the same problems raising young ones in today’s fast paced world as Christian parents. As long as the parents are involved in the education process of their kids…the kids will be fine. Parents teach their kids what the parent thinks is important…professors do exactly the same… Funny.
I think you’re right, Fred. It is the parent’s responsibility to teach and train their children. I also think part of the education process is in teaching our children how to think for themselves and analyze information properly. There are so many different beliefs and opinions that if our children are not taught to logically process the information and compare it to our basis of truth and the complete facts, kids can be led into all manner of lifestyles and beliefs. It does bother me, however, that in our nation an obvious anti-Christian movement is underfoot that is seen in obvious ways in our college classrooms. For example, I know of cases where a professor has stated up front that his objective was to cause the Christians in his class to change their beliefs about Christianity and discover that there is no God. Whatever happened to “freedom of religion?” Why are some non-Christians, who accuse Christians as being intolerant, being intolerant toward Christians? I believe it is critical for Christian parents to not only give their children the foundation of their faith, but also help them think through logically, historically, scientifically and biblically the basis of this foundation. In this way, when it comes under attack, these Christian young people will fully understand what they believe. Also by doing so, our children will not just believe something Mom and Dad believe, but will have processed the facts enough and developed a system of thought in such a way that the faith that has been passed down will have become their faith. This will also help our children be prepared to engage others within our pluralistic society in meaningful and healthy conversation about the differences that exist between us.